Football has fierce competition both off and on the pitch. Manage Your Football Club is part fantasy football simulator, part resource manager and part hooligan. You can get your hands dirty in any of the English football leagues from League two all the way to the top with the Premier league. If you don’t have time to read 15 pages of praise, then leave this review with the following: Manage Your Football Club is a triumph of immense proportions. It is thick with strategy, depth of play and excellent game mechanics. I am Grabbing it before I even start my proper review.
Before I get too far, I will have to apologise. Sports Director Ltd. have created a deep game – too deep to be properly covered in one review unless I were to write a full book. To explain every feature and even shallowly discuss strategies would careen this website off the server!
Sports Director Ltd, Manage Your Football Club, 5.99$, 2.7 MB
Firstly, as a fantasy football simulator, MYFC is the most comprehensive game at the App Store. You start half-way through the year 2008 with your chosen team and go which is more easily said that done. Case in point: my first dismal season with Liverpool was a frustrating lesson in humility (in fact, so has every season been). I am not sure if it was miss-application of funds, ignorance of my players’ needs or just my inept game-playing, but my team was thrown by most of the lowest teams in the Premier League.
MYFC allows you to customise facets of your team from squad lineup, youth squad, training schedule and agenda, to game formations, contracts, employees and on and on. You are not just putting a team together and playing a bit of footy. This is from the roots, a strategic game that helps you think like a manager, not just a fan.
You can keep track of league rankings such as Manager of the Month, Leading GoalScorers, League Tables, League Fixtures and on and on. Are you getting the drift? While there is a lot of information to digest in order to play MYFC well, the meat and potatoes of the game is your handling of three items: practice, player roster and games. Everyone will have a different strategy, but these three items are very important to learn to manage well.
For instance, each team will have its array of starting stats that will somewhat determine how well you perform. When you pull up the training menu, you can adjust items such as ’5 a side’, ‘Free Time’, ‘Tactics’, ‘Set Piece’ and ‘Formation’. Each of these is uniquely adjustable via a percentage slider which represents the amount of time in practice will be devoted to that particular item. The last two, ‘Set Piece’ and ‘Formation’ can be customised further to include specific strategic practices unique to your team.
Liverpool have been ordered to work on ‘Defending Corners’ under the ‘Set Piece’ option. It is embarrassing, but we (I said we) have taken serious shots lately from some of the more feebly stacked teams in the Premier League. In the last item, ‘Formation’, you have 10 options to choose from. Unfortunately, there is no real way to accurately place team members in the formation. MYFC does not allow you to drag and drop players into a formation. Rather, you must remember their number and plug that number into the formation. As you can imagine, there are embarrassing moments when upon entering a game, you realise that your defender is striding forward with a timid mindset.
Individual players have their unique training schedule. Before I get into it, let me just praise MYFC’s easy to navigate menu. The game is multi-layered, massive and deep. There is so much to do, to learn and to play, yet at its heart is a rather easy-to-learn and navigate GUI system. For instance, wherever there is a loose associative link to one of my players, be it in the squad selection, practice screen or under the league menu, I can access pertinent information about him. From there, I can usually adjust components such as practice regiment, contract status, trades — the list goes on and on. What I am trying to say is that each menu item is not an island, aloof from its peers. Many are intertwined – a fact that makes learning and traversing this game intuitive.
Anyway, if you notice Torres is sucking his thumb instead of properly drilling, you can make sure to whip him into shape. Of course, depending on how hard you whip and your match results, your players are apt to respond in just turn.
The player roster is the simplest item. You can of course trade, extend, renew and terminate contracts, but those in your squad will move in and out of game-shape. Injuries, substitutions, upgrades from benchers to regulars and penalties will effect your line up. You must keep up with this evolving aspect of MYFC in order to succeed. Switching player in and out of line up is easy. Simply tap the injury or penalty and then tap the replacement. Likety-split.
As to games, there is a lot to do. MYFC will set up your league schedule, but you can make sure to get your team ready by hosting and attending friendlies, adjusting practice regimens and on and on. Every aspect of MYFC is geared to set your team up for their game performance; games are literally where everything happens. Upon commencement, you can choose to watch the entire thing — keeping up with commentsteam performance and substitutions — or you can just view the result. I will admit that the strategist in me gave over to the eager expectant. The simple choice of seeing the game to the end or checking the result can prompt different outcomes, so take care!
When a match is completed, you will get a ‘run down’ (Shoutout to NBC’s The Office) of how both teams played. Sometimes, this will be embarrassingly revealing and at other times will prove that your strategy is solid. The results of games more than anything will keep not only your fans and players, but the board happy. The more wins you have, the more fans will attend your games and support your team. Everything stems from your success, so good luck.
Secondly, as a resource manager, MYFC is simply phenomenal. If you think of resources as simply monies, then you need to tighten the screws in your head. Your players, your youth league, fans, contracts – they all contribute to your successes and failures as a manager. You cannot exceed your funds, nor can you keep your players long in unhappy or unhealthy states. You have to make sure your team is not pushed too hard and that with victories, your fans are happy. You will be compared to other managers, your team to other teams and your individual players to each other. Get ready to sell, trade, pinch those pennies and pounce on the right sale. MYFC brings out the viciousness inherent in this sport of sports.
Finally, Manage Your Football Club is part hooligan. Being such a deep game with many and branching avenues to explore, it is not a jump-into-it sort of game. You can plow in and mess around, but you will likely not receive accolades. MYFC takes a lot of time to learn and master. It is a compelling game of strategy and investment. I will admit to not achieving mastery yet and have been playing for a couple of weeks now. Err… well, Liverpool have still not succeeded to Premier champion. They will, but the question of when is a looming, ominous one. Setting it up is a breeze. Just enter your managerial name, select a team and go. The rest however is a thick mixture of skill, good decision making and a dose of old-fashioned luck. Grab a coffee, maybe some other uppers and go – this game will take some practice to get right.
So what is MYFC lacking? Well, there is no game that can nail every facet right. Firstly, I started with a few different teams just to see how each performed. As it turns out, most had similar finances despite their real-life discrepancies. While altruistic to the casual iPhone gamer, this may perturb die-hard football fans. The most difficult misappropriation of a digital engine, however, is evident in the aforementioned formations. Far be it from die-hards to mistake numbers but for more casual players like myself and probably many in the App Store, this may factor in someone accidentally sending a defender left-forward. There needs to be a re-vamped formation engine in MYFC to make it a more tried-and-true sports manager. Also, a good search system might help in quickly disseminating some of the most often-used information. You also cannot select from foreign players. Trades, new players etc. – all deals are from within the League you have selected. It also would have been nice if Sports Director Ldt. had allowed for more than one profile at a time to be used. Since this is an iPhone game, I did not expect it to have the depth of its older PC brothers and sisters, however I would have expected that the above items could be addressed more smoothly.
Overall – what a wonderful game. Part strategy, part resource manager, MYFC is armed to the teeth with exhilarating football. It is the deepest sports manager on the iPhone platform with a studied interface and great navigation. Its only real fault is in the scope: Sports Director Ltd., designed and successfully created a massive, multifaceted gem, but their product is still rough in some areas. If you are a fan of football, MYFC is a no brainer – get it before you grow any older. Don’t bother with more reviews, this game is worth it. However, if you are a timid weekend warrior looking to score a few digital goals, you may want to look for an arcader.
As it boils down, Manage Your Football Club is heartily grabbed by TouchMyApps.
|Title:||Mange Your Football Club (v. 1.1)||Developer:||Sports Director Ltd.|
|Price:||$5.99||App Size:||2.7 MB|